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      Hundreds support local schools through Music With A Mission concert

      Country artist Jared Blake entertains fans at first Music with a Mission concert.

      Many schools across the country raise money for struggling extra-curricular programs like music and sports through bake sales and other fundraisers.

      But a new idea to help those struggling schools turned into the first Music with a Mission concert at the Adams County fairgrounds to benefit the Mendon and Illini West school districts.

      Music with a Mission is the brain child of Vincent Hickerson one of the lead singers for the group Trailer Choir .

      "So I came up with this idea," said Hickerson. " I said lets get some buddies of mine, great big old country stars, tie them in with what the school that loves them and let the kids go out there and be excited about something. And sell these tickets because they are excited about it not because, Oh we got to raise money for the school. Because we're excited about it and then the school is the one that profit from it."

      Hundreds bought tickets to hear artist like Jared Blake , Trailer Choir and Colt Ford perform.

      The event would not have been possible without a $30,000 donation from Per Wickstrom who runs a Michigan drug rehab center and supports anything that help steer young people in the right direction."

      "In my business any therapy is good therapy," Wickstrom said. "Music. Art. Sports. Because it creates purpose. It gives the individual a choice, abilities, so he doesn't get off school and go home and have nothing to do."

      The concert also gave artists like Ryan Michael Tant of Trailer Choir, solo artist Colt Ford and Carl Robert Lindquist also of Trailer Choir a chance to give back.

      "Music is closest to our heart just like it is their heart," Tant said. "And so we know how they feel. We know their passion. We know their struggles. Things like that because we were there."

      "It's important to give back when you have some success, I think that's very important," Ford said. "And for me rural small towns that's where I grew up at so it's just something that's near and dear to my heart."

      "Music helped me through school and it also helped establish where I was going after a while," Lundquist said. "Because I was pretty directionless. And now I have more direction so to give back is important."

      Unity Highschool choral director Stacey Taylor says that the money raised by the Music with a Mission concernt will make a big difference for a lot of kids.

      "It's gonna help those students who struggle to be in many extra-curricular activities," Taylor said. "Whether it be music or sports or even accademics. It's gonna give them a real chance to be involved if they can't financially do it. It's gonna be huge for us."

      The schools will get 20 percent of the ticket sales and 100 percent of the money raised from the sale of concessions.